Sinuses and Stress

November 9, 2007

When I woke up this morning, the unmistakeable signs were there:  slight throbbing pain behind the forehead, soreness in the eyes whenever I look this way or that, and a sinking feeling that the little diet-conscious man inside my head was finally annoyed enough that, in retribution, he decided to stand behind the bridge of my nose and push with all his might against the wall that is my face:  “Let me out!  LET ME OUT!”.  Ah, the joys of the sinus headache.

Oh, I know what this is:  it’s my payback for those last few days of secret forays to the drugstore or bulk store to buy my surreptitious Halloween candies.  It’s what I get for eating cookies for lunch, even if I do skip dinner.  It’s my early warning signal for ignoring my five-to-ten-a-day.  

After a few days of eating poorly and disregarding my body’s subtle signs (a little more fatigued getting up in the morning; a little more bloated after eating; a slight stomach ache upon rising. . . . ), this ole house of my soul finally reacts BIG TIME:  debilitating sinus headaches, chest pains that feel like a knockout punch, jagged stabbing pains in the stomach–oh, there’s a whole repertoire.  And each time, I tell myself, how could I be so stupid?  And, I will never, never do this again.  But of course, there’s chocolate in the world, so I do this again.

If I catch this now–right away–I can avert a full blown sinus infection (and that, truly, I want never to do again).  With homeopathy, sinus irrigation, and a clean diet including extra vitamin C and greens, I should be fine within the next two days.

It makes perfect sense, of course, that this would befall me just at this very moment in time:  I’m moving in THREE DAYS, for goodness’ sakes, and I am stressed out to the max.  And, as Holmes and Rahe told us back in the 60’s: good stress, bad stress–doesn’t really matter to your cells and heart and neurons–it’s all going to take a toll.  Just for fun, now, why don’t we see where I currently fall?  C’mon with me, and let’s review what’s happened in the past year, according to the Stress Scale:

  • Personal injury or illness: 53
  • Sexual Difficulties (I’m assuming not having it counts here): 39
  • Business readjustment (have I mentioned I had to close down a business?): 39
  • Change in Financial State (no income for 2 years–see above): 38
  • Change in responsibilities at work (back to old job; lots to do): 29
  • Outstanding personal achievement (on television-yay!  But still stress): 28
  • Revision of personal habits (more than once, I’m afraid): 24
  • Change in working hours or conditions (see above re: work): 20
  • Change in residence (we’re moving, aren’t we??): 20
  • Change in social activities (drastically curtailed by much less income): 18
  • Change in eating habits (well, only several times daily): 15
  • Minor violation of the law (can’t believe I made this one: speeding ticket): 11

Oh, boy!  That makes 314.  According to the scale,  “Score of 300+: At risk of illness”.  Ah, but I could have told you that already.

Needless to say, this list is grossly incomplete.  Why don’t they have a line for “too much rain to take dogs for walk”? (“It’s true, Mum, we find that very stressful!”). Or how about, “Email program won’t work correctly and entire job at risk from loss of emails”?  Or maybe, “Dear friend helps by getting someone to be interested in financing organic bakery and asks for proposal four days before moving date”?  Maybe, “just started blog about reforming eating habits and have been succumbing to cravings and binges more than any other time in the entire past year”? Or even,”laid-back honey forgets to pick up extra moving boxes from the LCBO only FOUR DAYS before moving and left without any boxes to pack remaining 68% of home contents”???  I could go on.  Somebody, stop me.

 Is it any wonder I’ve been craving chocolate? Meditation, here I come (again).

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